Address to Congress is great theater

The infamous outburst of Joe Wilson was a great piece of theater. It served two purposes, and has done so nicely.

The first being that it further galvanized the partisan debate, inflaming both side, particularly the right. So much so that the calculated move helped Wilson’s re-election campaign chest grow by over a million dollars since the speech. People are opening their mouths and wallets much easier now that the hatred the GOP has been sowing gained a bunch of credibility with the tirade. If you look at it’s second (and larger) point, the people that are pouring in their contributions should feel very stupid (although if it hurt to be stupid, these people would generally be in agony all the time.)

Secondly, and more importantly to the end goal, it gave the Democrats that much more fire with their base and some independents by illustrating what kind of people are against the reforms (i.e. loudmouth racist idiots.) People on the fence got to see what type of crap has been happening and by a member of Congress to boot. People with a shred of dignity see this as shameful and unnecessary. Joe Wilson’s outburst probably helped Obamacare more than it hurt it.

In reality what the outburst did is make the US look (even more) foolish to the international community. The right wingers are all about making sure the US looks large and in charge and can do no wrong, yet makes outrageous outbursts during a congressional address. How do you think that looks to other countries? How do you think that looks to the proverbial Islamic terrorist? If I were an un-educated terrorist and I saw that I would think that the terrorism is working pretty well. Here’s the world’s most powerful nation and they are bickering like kids on international television. If the Ruskies have just been biding their time for the US to show some weakness to strike us, that would have been a tip of the hand. The Brit’s , as always, look down their noses at the loudmouth cowboy Americans, not able to conform to respectful rules of decorum.

It’s all theater. It has been pointed out that in a room of at least 535 people, someone was able to capture Joe Wilson in the middle of a 2 word sentence, in the middle of a nearly hour long speech. That does seem rather odd, like someone in place to take a picture of some one getting beaned by a foul ball in the middle of a baseball game. Out of all the directions the ball could go, of all the people it could hit, that someone was in the right place at the right time. I am not saying that doesn’t happen, it certainly does regularly, but it is still very low odds that it works out just so…especially with only one chance to get it right. The point here is that someone before hand probably told (at least that photographer) to keep an eye on this fella…just in case.

Now, make no mistake, I am all for people voicing their opinions, it’s protected by the First Amendment. People yelling at town halls is a good thing. It means that we are getting closer to folks realizing that we are being wronged by our government on a daily basis. A good portion of these outbursts now are because their favorite talk radio buffoon told them what to say and why to be mad, but it’s a start. One day, hopefully, these people will realize that ‘their side’ is ripping them off too. Congressmen must adhere to a higher standard of public conduct, especially in the context of something like an address.

A ‘regular’ Joe needs to be able to shout truth to power, but power trying to shout at power makes us look like out of control retards at a high level. Of course, if it looks like a duck then….

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